BECKLEY, W.Va. — The Raleigh County Schools system has 53 vacant teacher positions as the school year is ready to tip off Thursday, prompting Raleigh Superintendent David Price to declare Tuesday that the school system is in crisis.
“It’s not a shortage that’s coming,” Price said at the regular Raleigh board of education meeting. “We’re in crisis mode right now, with our needs.”
Board President Rick Snuffer reported the shortages during the meeting, prior to Price’s comments.
“That’s a reflection on the state of West Virginia and how hard it is to get qualified teachers,” Snuffer said, adding, “The town crier’s been out there saying, ‘This is coming,’ and nobody really listened.
“I think we are in crisis mode now.”
Price said teachers are needed in traditionally under-staffed subjects like science and math, and in subjects that have always had higher recruitment rates, like reading, physical education, the arts and health.
“Things we never thought we’d see shortages in, we’re seeing a shortage in those areas now,” Price said.
Price added that superintendents in other counties have reported teacher vacancies. In late July, Fayette County had 44 vacancies.
Snuffer reported that Raleigh County offers better pay and benefits than surrounding school districts.
“If we can’t recruit, it’s bad all over…